Christmas On A Budget: Stocking Stuffers

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Just three days left!! I am in a little bit of disbelief about this fact…this month has gone by at light speed. And while I like to get my holiday shopping done early, I for some reason always save stocking stuffers until the last minute. We don’t stuff our stockings until a couple days before Christmas, and I think that’s why I wait. I like to be able to tuck things right in! So if you’re like me, and still need to grab a few things to stuff in those stockings, take a look below at some of my favorite (and inexpensive) ideas.


There are three things that are most important to me when it comes to stocking stuffers, for both my hubs and my daughter. 1. Practicality. I’m really not a big fan of filling up a stocking with useless items just to say it’s filled. My hubs doesn’t need a bunch of stuff he doesn’t really care about, and my daughters needs more little toys like I need a kick in the shin, so I’d much rather find ‘useful’ things to tuck in there.  2. Inexpensive. I don’t know why, but I feel like if I spend a decent amount of money on something, even if it’s small, I want it wrapped and under the tree. I like the stockings to not cost as much. 3. Non-candy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about sweets during the holidays, but I don’t like the majority of a stocking to be junk food. Between baking, and Christmas parties/celebrations, we all get plenty of sweets. I try to stick to just one or two sweet treats for the stockings.

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A sampling of what’s going in my little’s stocking.

First up, little kids. This is especially where the non-candy ideas come in.

  • Playdough
  • Socks
  • Crayon packs
  • Small notepads/sketchbooks
  • Undies (which my daughter get’s weirdly excited about!)
  • Toothbrush/paste
  • Stickers
  • Craft/collage items
  • Character cups (they have them at Target/Walmart for less than $1 – my little is getting a Frozen one this year!)
  • Tub toys
  • Jewelry (dress up, or real – your choice!)
  • Chapstick/lip balm (if you’re child is old enough of course)

Need more ideas? Hit up Pinterest or Google and do a search – you’ll be overloaded.

My top places for nabbing kids stocking stuffers? The $1 section at Target…seriously filled like half my kiddo’s stocking there. Also, dollar stores in general – especially for stickers.


Filling up my little missy’s stocking has never been a problem. It’s my hubs that’s always a killer. Finding enough practical items to fill his stocking (that he will actually want/use) is a challenge and a half. But I’ve come up with a list that hopefully you can apply to your significant other – this isn’t a male only list, just a general ‘grown-up’ list!

adult stocking
Things heading into my hubs stocking…except that lotion on the left – that’s going in mine from Santa!

  • Scratch Tickets (we never buy them regularly, so we always tuck a few in each others stockings!)
  • Notepads (I love lists so I’m always down for one, and my hubs likes to have small ones to keep on hand to take with him when he judges Magic tournaments.)
  • Chapsticks
  • Updated wallet photos
  • A fave treat or snack they don’t often get (in this case, for my hubs, it’s PopTarts. We never buy them but my hubs will have a whole box of Smores PopTarts tucked in his stocking!)
  • ‘Joke’ Boxers/Undies (I buy my hubs a pair of geek boxers EVERY YEAR for his stocking at Christmas. It’s become tradition. This year it’s Captain America.)
  • Packs of a favorite gum or mint
  • Small candles/wax melts
  • Lotion
  • Pack of nice(ish) pens (both my hubs and I like to write in pen, so this is always a good one)
  • New ornaments (in our case, geek ornaments if we happen upon any, but any ornament would do!)

And then, though this may sound obvious, I try and find something to cater to a favorite hobby. For instance, my hubs is really into Magic the Gathering, so I always toss in some booster packs from the sets he is currently playing with. As for me, I’m hoping for some of my own dice for D&D, so I can stop borrowing from our neighbor when we all get together for a session!

And there you have it – my go to stocking stuffers! Hopefully you’ll find an idea or two to apply to your own stockings to fill. I hope you have a truly excellent holiday, and enjoyed the Christmas On A Budget series. It was a blast to put together, and certainly kept me full of Christmas cheer. Though, really, I didn’t need to much help there. 😉 Do you wrap your stocking stuffers? I prefer to do a mix of both – some wrapped, some just tucked in. What do you prefer?

My 1st Annual Holiday Card Swap!


As cheesy as it may sound, one of my favorite parts of the holidays is getting Christmas cards in the mail! I mean, I love getting mail all the time, but the Christmas season always seems extra special, and I tend to be jam packed with holiday cheer.

With that in mind, I’d like to kick off what I hope will become an annual holiday card swap! Which is exactly what it sounds like – let’s send each other Christmas cards! Simply email me ( with your mailing address, and also a favorite character from a favorite fandom of yours! Why? That parts a secret. 😀 I’ll email you back my own address, and we’ll be made in the shade.

*A quick note: Although I’m not religious, I do celebrate Christmas and therefore my go-to phrase is Merry Christmas. If you don’t celebrate it, but still want to exchange cards, just let me know in the email so I can accommodate! Thanks!*

Eventually, I’d like to be able to handmake each card, but I can tell you this year that I just don’t have time. Either way, I’m so excited to start this swap!

In the same vein, another thing I’d really like to make you aware of is Deviant Art’s Holiday Card Project. You don’t have to be a member of the site to participate, so don’t let that stop you. Here’s a summary, in case you don’t feel like clinking that other link! 😉

Every year, Deviant Art gathers cards made OR purchased by people and hands them out to patients who have to spend their holidays in the hospital. Which I think is just fabulous. I always make sure to mail in a few cards to them, and this year I even got my little in on it too! Here’s the address if you’d like to send one (or many!):

deviantART, Inc.
Holiday Card Project
7095 Hollywood Blvd., #788
Hollywood, CA 90028

All cards must be received by December 17th to make it in time for delivery! Also, please keep in mind that these cards go to people of all religions. Everything is allowed, but they recommend a more generic ‘Happy Holidays’ or ‘Seasons Greetings’ if possible. The only other thing recommended is to stay away from writing the phrase ‘Get Well Soon’, as unfortunately that may not be applicable to all patients. Things like ‘Thinking of You’ or ‘Best Wishes’ are a better option!

Hope to drop you a card in the mail soon. What’s one of your favorite parts of the holiday season?

Christmas Wrap-up & Handmade Gifts

Did you know there is a difference between handmade and homemade? I learned a couple years back that handmade refers to items or things while homemade refers specifically to foods. Fun fact of the day!

I hope everyone’s holiday was excellent – ours was as usual. Busy, but wonderful. I love to have a couple days completely filled with family, friends, and food!

Every year, I always try and make presents for people. I grew up hand making presents for people as long as I can remember. My mum and grandparents still have paper ornaments I made when I was three. I still remember making cinnamon dough ornaments with my mum to give as gifts. It’s something that has always been extremely important to me, and therefore it’s something I want to pass along to my daughter. Since she was a year old she has been making presents for people and I hope she grows up enjoying it!

For her gifts this year, we did a combination of photo gifts, and ornaments. My family loves photos, so these are always a winner.



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These were incredibly simple to make. We sat down with watercolors and salt to make the backgrounds. Then she looked through photos of her and Daddy and picked her favorite, and of her and Mimi and picked her favorite. For Mimi’s gift I did a little ‘interview’ with her about her Mimi (what Mimi likes to do, her favorite thing to do at Mimi’s house, etc) and wrote it up under the photo. Then I snagged two shadowbox frames from Target, assembled them together, and voila! Perfect gifts from a toddler.


For the ornaments I made a cinnamon dough, and we rolled and cut out shapes together with cookie cutters. Then I used got out some ABC stamps and she helped me stamp the letters on. Once they were all dry (a few days later), she painted them (I did the letter outline in white of course). The little ones were strung up as garland for our living room, and the big ones will be gifts. As you can see, I didn’t turn the snowman quite enough as he was drying so he got a bit curled. Adds character right? Right.


As for my handmade gifts, I did some drawings and paintings for friends.

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And also some Doctor Who bookmarks! I definitely made one for myself as well – who wouldn’t crack up seeing that face sticking out of your book?! On the backs of each bookmark are the words ‘Property of (insert recipients name) written out in Gallifreyan (aka the Doctor’s language for those non-Whovians out there). I found this awesome Gallifreyan translator on DeviantArt; it’s pretty fabulous.


And being somewhat of a crazy cat lady, I made a couple new toys for our two kitties. Again, very simple. I cut out two pieces of felt and sewed a button and a bit of detailing on, then stitched around the edge, stuffed ’em full of catnip and sewed the rest shut! Pardon the wobbly stitching – I don’t hand stitch things often. One of my kitties could care less about them, but our other one is OBSESSED with them! He wrestles, chews, throws, and generally tries to destroy them to get at the catnip. It’s hilarious.



As for my homemade gifts (aka yummy treats) tune in for my Holiday December Baking post on Monday!

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Merry Christmas!

I just wanted to pop in and say Merry Christmas to you and yours! Originally I was going to post two separate holiday baking posts, but I decided to just wait, and do all my holiday baking in one big post. For now, I’m signing off for the week to enjoy the holidays with friends and family. I hope your holidays are filled with joy. . .and food! See you in a week!

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        Our tree this year, and my big three year old!

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30 Days of Lists Week 2

Cruising right along with the #30Lists project! I can’t believe it’s halfway done already. Prepping my pages ahead of time has been a huge boon to me; now even when things get crazy around here I can still snag five minutes after my daughter goes to bed and write my lists down.


For day 8 the original prompt was more geared to Christmas movies on your movie watching list. I’m not a big Christmas movie gal and since they encourage altering the prompts to suit you better, I changed it to movies I want to see both this year and next.


I really like Day 12 (Places I Went This Year), as it was great to remember all the places we took our little miss. Our family runs on a pretty tight budget, so we don’t really get to do big trips or travel to far off places, but we still manage to get in plenty of local or not-too-far trips!


I am adoring this project!

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Life in Photos

I think Life In Photos is going to be a new series. Throughout the week, I always take photos of things we are doing, crafts we make, places we go, so I figured I could give you a glimpse into my daily life via photos.

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Click to enlarge. . .yet another thing I’m working on in the blog revamp – bigger page images!

1. Spreading out to work on my #30Lists project.
2. The little miss happily cookie cutting cinnamon ornaments.
3. Cat comfy makes no sense.
4. Cinnamon ornaments out to dry.
5. A little nighttime cocoa indulgence.
6. Holiday cards I made and mailed for the Deviant Art Holiday Card Project. (I encourage you to check that out – it’s not just for DA members and it’s a great cause!).

I like black and white photos. I don’t know why; perhaps because my main focus in art is graphite portraits? I just love the contrasts. Whatever the reason, I like everyday photos better in black and white.

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